Why Diving in Honduras?
Honduras is often missed by travellers due to its history of danger. But it’s slowly breaking away from this perception. More tourists now come here as they travel through central america to get off the beaten track, making the most of the super cheap prices. Having now travelled here, there is a definite tourist trail. Particularly for women it would probably be wise to stay close to this, just to be on the safe side. But it is a country of beauty at rock bottom prices. Diving in Honduras is up there with the cheapest in the world and at about a third of the cost you would pay on say the East Australia Coast.
Why diving in Honduras, Utila?
Utila is the smallest of the bays in Honduras running around 9 mile long end to end. Aside from the price, this is an island many travellers go to for a week of relaxing, partying, water activities along with diving in Utila. Caribbean crystal blue waters wash ashore the beaches on either side of the main street running through the island. Meals can be found for less than a dollar along with free tequila every Tuesday at one of the main bars ‘Tranquillo’. It ticks lots of boxes for many travellers. For me, the price, amount of activities to do there and the safety of the island ticked my boxes. Here’s how to have a great week diving in Honduras, Utila.
Photo courtesy of Scuba Instructor Sam.
Diving in Honduras, Utila: The course
Underwater Vision is one of a number of dive schools on the island. I went here on a recommendation of a friend based on; professionalism, equipment, school size, price and the social backdrop it provides. The open water PADI course is the first course of many in the scuba world Underwater Vision provides. It’s an intense three days with six dives for the course, a few days of simple theory in a classroom, finished off with a test. This is all to officially certify you to be able to dive to 18m. You then have two fun dives thrown in with the package they offer.
The instructors are a great balance of professional and communal within Underwater Vision. The credibility of their understanding and enthusiasm for the equipment, diving, the island and the sea life shows throughout the course. They will happily help one on one under water to make sure you are okay, point out particular underwater life, while staying in the bar with you afterwards for a drink. That said they are careful to spot equipment mistakes and enforce the correct procedures to make sure equipment is kept to a high quality. Which only adds to the credibility of the centre.
Diving in Honduras, Utila: Accommodation and pricing at Underwater vision
Your initial open water course at Underwater Vision starts at $299. But as mentioned previously, courses offered go right up to dive master and instructors. Many of the instructors started as travellers to the island who have ended up falling in love with Underwater Vision and staying there. One guy didn’t realise I was sat with one of the instructors in the bar one evening and asked him how many dives he’d done so far. ‘2000+’ he replied. That was a reassuring reply beginning my Open Water PADI course the following day.
While doing any diving course accommodation is free, along with the fun dives you get on completion of your course. Once you have finished your course the accommodation is $5 a night. The island is small and meet a lot of other travellers from different dive schools, this was a cheap price post-dive with accommodation being similar quality across all boards.
Things to do at Underwater Vision, other than diving:
Underwater Vision had me at the set up and lay out of their centre. Along with diving they’ve got the volley ball court, daily menus if you wanted to eat there, film night, pub quiz, paddle board yoga and sunset tours.
Photo courtesy of Scuba Instructor Sam.
Sunday at Underwater Vision is family meal night. People bring along all kinds of food; piles of pasta, rice and green salads, meats with lots of dips and chips rounding off with fruits, cakes and lots to drink. All this food and drink is collected along the bar and you feast away with the other sixty odd travellers there at the same time. It was probably one of the best meals I’ve had since travelling and a genius idea with very few food vendors open Sundays. This family food night perfectly illustrates the inclusive feeling Underwater Vision gives to a traveller solo.
Other things to do on the island apart from diving in Honduras, Utila:
Aside from UnderWater Vision, their is a whole heap to do on the island, below is just a taster. I have written about everything you can get up to in more detail here.
Going out while diving in Honduras:
Tranquillo: A popular choice with Tequilla Tuesday and ladies night Thursdays.
Jade Seahorse: Also known as treetanic. It’s a tree top bar thats been slowly cultivated over 20 years with mosaic artwork by its creator Neil who is adamant is it best seen under moon light. As a result this venue hosts a few incredible parties a month based on the moon cycles. It is something that just has be seen with you’re own eyes.
Kayaking in the lagoon while diving in Honduras:
Head down to The Venue and grab a kayak to explore the lagoon that runs between the centre of the island.
The beaches while diving in Honduras:
Head down to either Chepes or Bandu beach for a few drinks and a swim in the clearest blue water.
Eating and drinking out while diving in Honduras:
Mary-Annas pupuseria has a decent meal for a cheap price. But while your there try and find my favourite vendor that literally has no name. It has the best Balleadas on the island at the cheapest prices. It’s 100 meters down from Jade Seahorse, good luck!
Weekly beach clean ups
Something that Underwater Vision play a big part in are weekly beach clean ups to help keep Utila’s coastline and waters clean.